Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Japan wrestles with ageing problem

Each day Matsu Yamazaki goes out of her small house in Tokyo to walk through busy streets to work at her family's grocery shop.
It would be unremarkable except for the fact she is 103 years old!
Pensioner numbers growing
For Japan that is the problem - by 2055 the government is predicting pensioners will be around half the population.
The numbers of the very oldest are growing steeply and that means rising costs.
Just under a third of Japanese people over the age of 85 have Alzheimer's or some other kind of dementia, a very similar rate to the UK.
So the increase in the very oldest has created unprecedented pressures.
The growing proportion of the elderly are a significant political influence in Japan.
No party can afford to ignore their votes.
The dilemmas faced by Japan now lie ahead for all the major economies whose populations are also ageing.
A rapid growth in the very oldest can create a heavy burden for families, and a financial headache for governments.
Read the rest here. Watch the video on this page too. Sorry can’t download this one.

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